Eleven men and one woman will be among 38 members of Transplant Team Ireland to take part in various sports events at the World Transplant Games which will take place from 17-24 August.
This will be the largest Irish Transplant Team and golf team travelling abroad, and they will be among 2000 participants from over 60 countries. Ranging in age from 16 to 81, the Irish team of 29 men and 10 women have all undergone organ transplants including 1 heart, 1 lung, 4 liver, 1 bone marrow and 31 kidney.
No stranger to success in golf at previous Transplant Games is John McAleer from Antrim, age 81, the oldest member on the team. John, a retired university lecturer who is passionate about golf, was out on a golf course when he was called for his life changing kidney transplant in 2013.
Transplant Team Ireland Manager, Colin White said, “Over the years golf has been one of the ‘go to’ sports as our golfers have achieved strong results every time they have competed at European and World level.
“The Golf team are title holders of the 5 Five Nations Golf Shield which they won in Livingston, Scotland in April 2019 which was a timely win coming at the end of Organ Donor Awareness Week with each team member acknowledging their donors for their success.
“It’s exciting to see our golf team grow and that it will be our largest ever to take part in the World Transplant Games next month. We look forward to Dublin hosting the European Transplant & Dialysis Sports Championships in August 2020 (2-9 August) and are currently considering a suitable golf venue for this.”
Ireland’s golfing hero, Shane Lowry has been a long-time supporter of the Irish Kidney Association (IKA) and Transplant Team Ireland. He helped the IKA in its bid to host the 2020 European Transplant & Dialysis Sports Championships which will centre around DCU campus (2-9 August 2020) by writing a letter of endorsement.
The much-loved Offaly man’s wife, Wendy’s sisters (natives of Pike-of-Rushall in Laois) underwent a living donor kidney transplant in 2013 when Melissa donated a kidney to Alison who had been on dialysis for a time following the failure of a previous transplant from a deceased donor.
Golfers on the team who are each profiled on the Transplant Team Ireland blog https://transplantteamireland.wordpress.com/ include: John McAleer, Antrim; Marie O’Connor, Clare; Michael Kiely, Cork; Pat O’Sullivan Cork; Charlie Ryan, Cork; Kieran Murray, Donegal; Michael Dwyer, Dublin; Ron Grainger, Dublin; James Nolan, Kildare; Eoin Hurley, Waterford; Garry Campbell, Wicklow, Philip Kavanagh, Wicklow.
This year the team has gratefully received support from Swim Ireland, Athletics Ireland and Irish Squash. The on-going coaching support from Swim Ireland has been particularly welcomed.
For more information on World Transplant Games and the Irish athletes visit the Irish team blog www.transplantteamireland.ie
Visit the Games website www.worldtransplantgames.org